21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories
Dreamscapes Two
More Original Fiction



The International Writers Magazine: Spy v Spy

Snooki Goes to Washington
Dean Borok
The strength of the popular British TV espionage series MI5 (Spooks) lies in its superb writing, which does not avoid complicated story lines yet manages to arrive at a satisfying conclusion at the end of each episode.


In the series, MI5’s main adversary in combating world terrorism is not the Russians or the Chinese, but the American CIA, which is portrayed as a monolithic entity operated by a group of deluded triumphalists. As an aide to George W. Bush once candidly allowed, “We are an empire, and reality is what we say it is.”

If our closest strategic ally feels constantly buffeted by a trauma of irrationality originating at our shores, how do U.S. citizens of a rational nature react to the organized chaos that shapes our social environment? If I run into one, I’ll ask him.
In the meantime, I just got through watching the Sunday morning political opinion discussion shows, which left me dismayed to the point of despondency. Who appointed George Will or Arianna Huffington to be repositories of political wisdom, that’s what I want to know! Let’s not forget Pat Buchanan, who doesn’t know anything, has never been right about anything, and has based his whole phoney-baloney career as a commentator on his experience as a speechwriter for Richard Nixon, and we all know how that turned out!

All those idiots are good for is reading best-seller biographies of recent political Americans and trying to recite what they remember, with any history prior to the administration of Franklin Roosevelt consigned to a gauzy dream sequence reminiscent of “Paranormal Phenomena”. Basically, for all the illuminating perspective emanating from these “experts”, you could junk the whole lot of them and replace them with Snooki and Paris Hilton, and the conclusions that emerge would be no less edifying.

The rigors of social conformity effectively ensure that no discussion take place which would exclude the least knowledgeable. This know-nothingness permeating political discourse extends to all areas of contemporary society. An illuminating anecdote of this was related to me by my girlfriend, Magpie, who described a chance encounter she had with a woman she happened to meet in a West Side saloon. After a few drinks, the lady’s composure dissipated in a mist of despair as she described how she felt compelled to conceal any hint of cleverness for fear of being ostracized by her social circle.

This social lockstep was never more in evidence then this week, as society struggled to come to grips with the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords without having to confront any orthodoxies that might lead to a reasoned analysis. Off the table were hate speech, which is constitutionally protected under the present configuration; the right to bear arms, which extends to machine guns and powerful 9mm semiautomatic handguns with 23-shot ammunition clips; non-existent facilities for treating victims of psychiatric disorders, dumping these deluded denizens of the deep into the general population, where they frequently end up patronizing gun shows. All these topics are off the table.

In fact, gun rights advocates are seizing on the assassination attempt to assert that Rep. Giffords would have been safer had there been more guns in the crowd, where a responsible citizen could have shot the shooter.
Think about it. When was the last time an honest person with a firearm was able to prevent a crime-in-progress? Oh, maybe once in a blue moon, but 99% of the time firearms are used in the commission of a crime, not in its prevention. It’s doubtful that people caught in a crossfire between a criminal and a vigilante would be any safer than being exposed to just the criminal rampage. At least, that’s the thinking in New York City, which proscribes the carrying of concealed weapons by anyone, and which consequently has a low rate of gun violence.

But why be confused by the facts? The enforced conformity currently extant can lead us down some strange pathways.

Like the election of President Sarah Palin. Never happen, you say? I could have said the same of Barack Obama, whose election was by no means a foregone conclusion. Obama actually lost his primary battle against Hillary Clinton, but the results were close enough that the Black, liberal and youth caucuses felt empowered to take the nomination away from her and award it to him.

I was dismayed, believing that the amorphous glob of white, suburban voters would ooze over to the McCain camp, and the Republic would continue to calcify into a rock-solid state of immobility. The public opinion polls taken directly after the Democratic nominating convention justified my apprehension, indicating a snowballing of support for McCain.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the White House. The Wall Street banks collapsed, scaring the public back to the Democratic side of the ledger. Obama was swept into office with a supermajority in both houses of Congress and went on to achieve the best legislative record in history.

The lesson is clear for the Palin camp. Grab the nomination and hope that some external event triggers a mass stampede toward their candidate. The trigger could be anything: an assassination, a bank collapse, a scandal, you name it.

It’s this conjunction of destiny that drives candidates who would normally not be considered electable to attempt a Hail Mary pass in pursuit of the top prize. First you capture the nomination, then you hope divine intervention shifts the electorate in your favor.

Quite apart from the destruction a Palin presidency would wreak on this country’s tentative baby steps toward resolution of its domestic distortions, try to imagine the effect on our security apparatus that would result from an influx of Wild West shoot ‘em up Palin appointees at its highest levels. That potentiality should be enough to keep the candles burning at MI5 headquarters long into the night.
© Dean Borok 17 Jan 2011
Let them eat snow
Dean Borok digs his way out of Manhattan.

I have a low tolerance for appreciating cringe-inducing behavior, particularly after having indulged in it myself during so many periods of my life.

Share |
More Comment


© Hackwriters 1999-2011 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility - no liability accepted by or affiliates.